Nextgov: VA Reveals Industry Partners for First 5G-Enabled Hospital

“The Veterans Affairs Department announced Tuesday that three companies underpin the recent rollout of its first 5G-enabled hospital: Verizon, Microsoft and Medivis.”

“Through a new public-private partnership deemed ‘Project Convergence,’ Verizon supplies the agency with a fifth-generation wireless service, while Microsoft and Medivis provide advanced, clinically relevant products and applications that enable medical providers to put the superfast internet to use.”

“Only a few weeks in, department officials told Nextgov emerging 5G uses are already making an impact at the Palo Alto facility where it launched, even as the technology’s complete capabilities are still unknown. Through early adoption, the VA hopes to help the entire health care industry visualize, access and co-develop 5G’s full potential.”

“’We didn’t turn the network on so that people could connect their individual phones to download a movie faster,’ Dr. Ryan Vega, executive director of the Veterans Health Administration’s Innovation Ecosystem told Nextgov ahead of the latest announcement. ‘There was a considerable amount of strategy to what the network is going to look like when you first turn it on and then what are you actually doing with the network. So you have 5G, but so what, right? That’s what the whole intent was—driving the clinical use cases.’”

“According to Vega, who others call the ‘dot connector’ spearheading the plans, VA was in talks with Verizon for many months ahead of the launch, after the agency initially committed to doing something ‘transformative’ with the tech giant’s 5G capabilities…”

“Going forward, VA officials plan to further address initial ‘bureaucratic hurdles’ and hone in on new security vulnerabilities the technology inevitably introduces—ahead of any future hospital-wide deployments. Vega emphasized that security is a ‘major priority,’ and the early theoretical model is considered a ‘no trust network,’ in that it does not trust any entity that tries to connect to it.”

“And though it’s the earliest days of implementation, officials are hopeful it’ll all eventually lead to applications that resonate across the entire industry.” Read the full article here.

Source: VA Reveals Industry Partners for First 5G-Enabled Hospital – By Brandi Vincent, February 18, 2020. Nextgov.

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